The Kemble Round is a challenging 100 mile (160Km) self-guided gravel cycling route in the Cotswolds. With a 50/50 on/off-road mix, it’s intended as a tough but rewarding single day challenge (or maybe a two-day bikepacking tour) for experienced cyclists, along the lines of the South Downs Way or the Trans-Cambrian Way.
The route crosses endlessly varied, often beautiful, and occasionally remote countryside, and includes towards 10,000ft (3,000m) of climbing. It was devised as an adventurous alternative to expensive mass-participation sportives. And also to raise some money for the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity – all the routes and info here is freely given, but we ask you donate a few quid if you can spare it. More info about that below.
Want to tackle The Kemble Round yourself? Feel free to utilise all the info here on the website including a downloadable GPS route and route descriptions, suggestions for 80 and 60 mile variations (with their own GPX files), training/preparation and bike advice, and more.
Ultimately it’s just a route suggestion, to be ridden self-guided whenever you like, so you can pick your moment or vary it as you require. It’s great when done with a touring/sightseeing mentality, but some riders have done it much more quickly, with the current record well under 8 hours.
A key reason for establishing the Kemble Round was to raise funds for the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity, which provides life-saving emergency cover across the whole area.
If you ride the Round (or are even just here to read about it) please make a donation to the charity, however small. A suggested amount is £5 or £10, which seems pretty good value to us, for the GPX file and other info on offer. Especially with typical sportives asking for £50 or more. If you can spare more, it’s hugely appreciated. All donations go direct to the GWAAC and support their work, and are collected through their fundraising platform.
Starting and finishing in the quiet Gloucestershire village of Kemble (which is served by mainline rail services from London and Cheltenham) The Kemble Round takes in stunning landscapes and pretty towns and villages from Cirencester and Wotton-under-Edge in the south to Andoversford and Cleeve Hill in the north. Along the way it passes renowned beauty spots and breathtaking viewpoints including the Gatcombe Estate, Wotton-under-Edge, Stinchcombe Hill, Coaley Peak, Stroud, Standish, Painswick Beacon, Birdlip, Cleeve Common, Rendcomb, Bagendon and the Churn Valley.
This great video (thanks Andy!) about one person’s ‘fastest known time’ attempt on The Kemble Round, in good February conditions, shows some of the beautiful terrain the route passes through:
Joining forces with The White Horse Round
The Kemble Round was devised by the same people who established The White Horse Round, a thrilling 117 mile gravel route in Wiltshire. These are two of the grandest gravel cycling challenges in the West Country. It’s even possible to combine them, for a Kemble/White Horse double – but as far as we’re aware no-one has managed that 217-mile monster yet…